Posts Tagged ‘packaging’

Random thoughts after 3 days down under and 1 around


Australia !
Back to Australia !
Shark Bay
Just after my arrival in Perth last Friday, I had a bit of time to walk in the city in order to have a view on it and feel the atmosphere.
View from the hotel
It’s an interesting mix of modern buildings and a bit less modern buildings !
Mix of buildings
Of course, Australia is a young country, with (from my point of view) mostly young people around (that’s where I see I’m getting old !). People are very nice, friendly and always ready to help with a smile. It’s my third time here, and it’s always been like that, that’s probably why I like coming back here.
Australian Steak
I had a dinner in what I found a strange place, the shed, where I had to show my ID before entering, which was pretty empty despite the size. Maybe because it was a bit early. The dinner was good, but I really felt alone !
That's where Perth performs savant music

It was then time to go back to the hotel for some mail, and the preparation of my Monday presentation.

Being in Australia during europe winter time is just great. As great that you can receive too much sun on your head ;-) Especially when you go to such a nice place as Fremantle !
Main Fremantle Street
I did that on Saturday (for once I had time around an event) in that city which is similar to a french mediteranean city like Cagnes sur mer e.g. (more from a climate perspective than an architectural one)
Hall Town
and so I passed the full day around, enjoying the view on the Indian Ocean (my first time),
Site seeing from Round House
and beach (nearly empty as very windy)
Fremantle beach
and the nice food you can eat on the harbour
View on the harbour
(remember that as french we put a lot of emphasis on this, and even more because it’s me ;-))

One of the main building of Fremantle is their prison, which has been added to the World Heritage List of Unesco as a testimony of the role of convicts/prisoners sent to Australia to work there. One of the oldest building of the region, even if it’s just less than 200 years (old european reaction ;-))
Fremantle prison

It’ was also interesting to see that Fremantle uses Wikipedia to document their sites. They are adding QRCodes pointing to Wikipedia pages in order to make your visit more rich. That’s the first time I see that usage BTW.
Wikipedia QR code

Sunday was passed doing more preparation around release 0.12.3 and the presentation. I just took some time in the afternoon to go back in the city
Skyline view some strange trees in parks
and bells tower
Bells tower
before recognizing the itinerary to go to
LCA2014 Banner
hosted at the University of Western Australia
where we could register.
UWA main building
Despite not being at LCA for the first time, I attended Rusty Nelsson session on first timer LCA attendees, which was a nice way to start the event.First time session
After some more discussion at a nearby bar, it was time to finalize my presentation, and work on the demo. Took me up to 3AM, but was still not finished as I wanted !

On monday, LCA was starting.
Start of LCA
The first keynote was about Whistle-blowing (les lanceurs d’alerte for my french audience who like me would not happen to know what it is) and how their perception is changing in our post-Snowden era.
Dr Suelette Dreyfus
That was an interesting presentation of her finding through a survey they organized to gather data. Especially after having seen the keynote at LinuxCon EMEA around Living in a Surveillance State by Mikko Hypponen, which I highly recommend to watch,as it’s a very enlightning one.
Dr Suelette Dreyfus
However, during the Q&A session, I found a bit strange that the audience didn’t want to listen to the question from a doctor around how to determine what is good and what is bad, which was much more interesting that what they felt it could be. And I think he was right, as this is a real concern that should rather be dealt with, instead of just asking the person to shut up. The limit of what can be disclosed or not whether you are in a government or a private company wrt ethic aspects is really a difficult topic to solve and more debate should be left so more interesting input could be heard and answers brought to improve the quality of the debate.

And also it’s interesting that the spot is now only on the NSA, whereas we tend to forget that some months ago, we had the same questions around Facebook. Of course, people give willingly their info to Facebook while theydon’t to the NSA, and that’s a bad thing. However, it doesn’t rmove the other threat from companies like Facebook which should continue to be explained to all IT users and consumers.

There was a remark on the fact that US own 5 millions records of autralian citizens who have travelled to the US. Again, it’s easy to avoid that: do not travel to the US. If you want to go there, it seems normal to me they can ask for info beofre to protect themselves. Of course, the level of what is asked should be reasonable wrt the effect researched, and people have modification right son it and insurance it won’t be provided to other entities. But here I think they are in their own right to gather them. Of course, again nothing to do with what we’re learning regularly thanks to E. Snowden revelations with what the NSA is doing.

I passed the rest of the day mostly in the Continuous Integration miniconf which was also hosting my talk with the exception of a presentation around ansible and vagrant I wanted to follow in the sysadmin mini-conf. It turned out that this presentation wasn’t so interesting due to the lack of demo (no network). Too bad as I’m also testing ansible as time permits on my side and would have like to get insights.

So after that I took some time to finish my slidset for the pres of the afternoon and the demo I wanted to make. I think I’ll never been able to finish a presentation days in advance completely. Don’t get me wrong, I have plenty of material availblle and I can make any 3 days workshop on the fly just using what I already have. However, I like to tailor the presentation to the audience, the context, polish one or two stuff, remove slides and some new ones… And same with the demo. So even if I started early before coming, I just finished to publish 0.12.3 the morning (time for all packages to build), realized that some feature that I hadn’t tested enough were not working, so making just a last patch (c) to have my demo shiny !

So I missed some sessions in between and went back to the CI miniconf and really heard Anita Kuno’s talk on 3rd party testing with OpenStack (a good one on latest aspects of the project I wasn’t aware of – this one is moving soooo fast !).
Geology Building at UWA

And finally all went well (at least from my point of view of course, ask one of the around 40 people of the the audience for objective feedback !). Demo worked as expected (thanks for preparation ;-)) and as usual I din’t had enough time to cover all what I wanted to address. Will see now if my Continuous Packaging approach is supported more in Australia, and if gets adopted there to create more upstream packages for some projects. Those interested can find my presentation on SlideShare. The video is also available.
Perth Lighted building
End of day was dedicated to the CI BoF and a dinner with a lot of HP peers working on OpenStack on various aspects (always amazed to meet so many people involved in it as time passes that I wasn’t knowing before).

But that’s not the end ! More “awesome” presentations to see the days coming. And more pictures are available at

Interview for Mageia’s Blog


In case you’re interested, you can read my interview made by Ennael for The Mageia Blog.

And I’m right now trying to debug an issue with squidGuard for Mageia 3 while upgrading my internal proxy server ! Cf:

Distro Recipes 2013: Nice first !


Distro Recipes 2013
As indicated, I had the opportunity to talk during the first Distro Recipes event organized in Paris last week, at the invitation of Hupstream. As Yoann Sculo posted, this was a very interesting day for me, and I really regret I was busy to also attend the first day and the opening.

After a nice welcome breakfast, Aurélien Bompard started by presenting the Fedora distribution.
Aurélien Bompard presenting the Fedora distribution
He did a great job especially expalining how easy it was to become a Fedora maintainer, even if a comparison to Debian revealed that it’s much less different that what people may think (it also takes time to become a packager able to modify most distro packages) and I know by experience that the Fedora packagers are really picky (sometimes for not so good reasons) with new contributions.

After that I talked about HP and Linux distributions. I used in fact the standard HP marketing presentation of the company as a starter (modified of course to suit my needs and include more penguins !) in order to explain the span of our activities, our relationship with communities including distributions, announced that HP will even soon provide firmware for ProLiant servers under a package format (rpm and deb), the fact that HP doesn’t see Linux demand for desktop/laptop on the consumer market (no, it’s not just a price issue that would make Linux more appealing in that case as I justified) but that we do support Linux on some enterprise desktops/laptops. Hopefully this was useful and/or new to some of the audience.

Then Dodji Seketeli made the type of talk making you believe that you could contribute to gcc ! Of course, when he details how much time it took him to add some of the features of the next stable version, you know you can’t ! Well I at least ;-) Anyway lots of good news and features that make that future version 4.8 expected soon.
Dodji Seketeli on gcc

That conclude our morning sessions, and it was then time to eat !! Especially as we had a great buffet waiting for us as you can see:
Repas midi

In order to avoid a sleepy afternoon, we started right after by a round table with 7 people (!), that I had the pleasure to chair. With a representative of each distribution (Mageia, openSUSE, Fedora, Debian, Arch, Embedded) and a Microsoft representative, you could expect blood and swords fight ! Not at all, I was surprisingly happy that the elements were clearly exposed, each representative defending their own work rather than criticizing, and finding ways to propose more future joint work. Of course, some subjects such as LSB/FHS lead to more debate, but very constructive and I really enjoyed this time slot as a way to show that differences are an added value ! It was also the opportunity for me to meet with Colin Guthrie and Frédérc Crozat, which I had never met before. These distros should be happy to have such representatives defending them (and the others too of course ;-)) Finally if you have ideas to share to improve cross-distribution work , consider joining the mailing listdedicated to his topic and start sharing your ideas.

Then it was time again for the remaining presentations. The first was Lucas Nussbaum. Long time Debian Developer, (he is even running for the Debian Project Leader now, vote for him !) he made a convincing picture of the Debian ecosystem, the numerous Web sites that contributors can create to enhance the distribution with stats, infos, Ubuntu correlations, … As usual, Debian appears as a very mature distribution, with a strong Governance, being perl friendly… If I had to change I may well become a debianers. But isn’t it because of the pres, as the morning I was a fedorian ;-)
Lucas Nussbaum pour Debian

The next speaker was a long time Linux enthousiast Pierre Ficheux. In fact back when it was Minitel time (not 2.0) I used his xtel program !! Pierre made a presentation (in english but with the accent ;-)) around embedded Linux distributions, presenting various way to tailor one for your device (he was using a Raspberry Pi) depending whether you use an Ubuntu, a Yocto generated one or a pure OpenEmbedded linux one. Definitely a good idea to explore for my Pi !
Pierre Ficheux sur Yocto (Open Wide)

And then we had the lightnings talks. Aurélien Bompard was there again for HyperKitty. Too bad it’s devoted to mailan, as I think Sympa would also benefit from such a work, as their archive management (at least on the latest versions I used) could be improved.
Aurélien Bompard pour HyperKitty

I came then again on stage for a presentation (building cross-distro packages for upstream projects) and made a short demo which I think is explaining much more than my slides, so I plan on using it more in the future !

After me, Eric Leblond explained how his upstream project (ulogd2) wasn’t picked up correclty by most distributions and asked for help to improce that.

And final speaker was Nicolas Vérité who made a panel on all mobile Linux distributions, recommending to follow closely Tizen for the future as the main force in this area.
Nicolas Vérité sur Distros Mobile

Too bad it was already over. Anne closed the session and I’d like to thank her for the invitation and the perfect organization of this first cross-distributions vent as a real success. Well done and see you next year hopefully !
Anne Nicolas (Hupstream)

Finally time to publish pb 0.12.2


As you can see with the few messages I had time to post on this blog, the end of 2012 start of 2013 has been pretty busy, and I’m late in delivering the 2 projects I’m leading. So this week, I decided it was time to make a 0.12.2 version of pb, and make it available. Was asked by my colleagues of FOSSology, specially to add Fedora 18 support, so I also build my VMs to make packages on this distro.

BTW, a bit of ranting for Fedora once more: no perl by default :-(, and no ifconfig nor route command either which is breaking MondoRescue of course, and I guess tons of other software around. These guys don’t care about past, but don’t provide compatibility tools either !! So I’ll have to make new patches, just to do the same as what was done, but with another command again. Not to speak of systemd which I still have issues to deal with :-( That doesn’t make stuff go faster !

Anyway, the version is now out, no official bugs fixed, but a lot of small stuff here and there which were desrving a release. No time to test Fedora 17/18 VE yet, so you’ll have to do that yourself if you want. I also had a look at virsh usage in combination with pb, and it’s again not as easy as it could seem to be. Especially port redirection I’m easily using by launching qemu-kvm manually with the -redir or hostfwd option doesn’t seem to be possible with the user mode network through virsh (neither manager nor CLI). Will have to post on their ML to see how they do that, if they can !

And MondoRescue has been very late. I really need to publish a verion, but I still have some blocking bugs I really would like to get rid of: CTRL+ALT+DEL not working anymore during restore, some LVM issues on RHEL, some grub issues on SLES… Hopefully at the end of next week I’ll have made progresses.

Of course patches are much easy to integrate, but I receive more bug reports than them ;-)

And also back to preparing the HP internal TES event, Solutions Linux confs, submitting to LinuxCon, working on an FLOSS ITIL stack, learning more OpenStack, looking at Intel’s TXT…. so many things I’d like to do or learn and will never have time to ! Maybe at least I’ll talk about that another time.

Meeting at in Canberra


I’ll soon be lucky to be able to be in a plane for some 20 hours in order to reach down under and be in in Canberra ! It will be my second time in Australia after my previous presentation on MondoRescue in Sydney in 2007. This time I’ll organize the cross-distributions MiniConf on Tuesday the 29th of January 2013.

And I’m so happy to have fantastic speakers such as Bdale Garbee or Monty Taylor among others ! I anticipate it will be a great Miniconf. So fell free to come and participate, you’ll have the best people to give you answers :-)

And as usual, if you want to talk about packaging, disaster recovery, open source or early music, feel free to come by and talk with me. I look forward discovering another part of thies great country in two weeks. 0.12.1 is now available


As promised (or threatened (c) Bryan !) I have now published a new main version of, the 0.12.1 !

Since my previous post, I worked a lot on it to make it available in fact, and it took finally just a bit more than a year ! But it was hopefully worth the wait ;-)

In order to ease the publication, I started to write a script to make tests in an automatic fashion. It helped me to find lots of small or less small remain issues before the release, so I’m more confident than before that this version is a good one indeed ! This was especially needed due to the fact I received this time other contributions.

Indeed, I received great contributions from Eric Anderson but I had to revert some of them, as the project wasn’t completely ready to deal with it. the major one being to error out immediately. That broke in fact a certain number of use case, where errors should be tolerated, and even after trying to catch them, I was unsuccessful in some case, so made a new parameter in the configuration file for that. So you can benefit from Eric’s work by activating pbstoponerr (and also pbshowsudo if you want to see what pb does behind the scene with sudo commands) in the /etc/pb/pb.conf configuration file. default is to have both of them off for now. It may change in the future, when the code handles more efficiently all error cases.

Also what I missed to detail last time is the new version number. This version is not compatible with the previous one, so you’ll have to update your VEs/VMs/RMs in order to benefit from it. Especially for test versions, now we use the full version name for producing the tar files, and the old version won’t build packages in the build environment when called from a 0.12.x external pb.

In order to do that, just use pb -p myproject setupvm (or setupve, setuprm) to update all your VMs in a row.

Project is still available at and you’ll find there all the versions made for all the distributions tuples supported (120+ as of today). Use trac to report problems or enhancement requests for next version, that I promised will not be next year but earlier !!

Enjoy and feel free to join our mailing-list to discuss more about it.

About to publish 0.12.1


When I looked at the date of the current current stable version, I had a shock ! It has been nearly a year since I published that version. I should not stay that long without providing updates :-( But you know what it is, you always think that you should still add that latest cool feature, and then that other, + fix this problem, … and you end up one year later with a great development version, but still no public stable one so others could benefit from your work.

So it’s time ! Especially as I have committed a lot of patches from an HP colleague, Eric Anderson, who is using the tool (and in its devel version !) to support packaging projects he is working on for HP. So I worked hard since the 8th of May to integrate what he has made available on github, since he got HP’s approval through the OSRB. And I have integrated I think more than 90% of his enhancements, which now will make 0.12.1 even more appealing than before.

But I’m not as a good guy as some think ;-) Some of the patches seemed strange to me, or could have an impact which I wasn’t completely sure of, so there is still some work Eric did, that has been left appart for the moment. Sorry for that, but I’m a slow guy, using this project on a daily basis, so I really need to be convinced before accepting a patch. But I was convinced by a lot ;-) I’ll now contact him back through the project mailing list, and see how we can work on these remaining points for 0.12.2 so he has a tool working much better for him. Among the nice stuff Eric has brought is clearly a much improved GIT support (read working !), and Debian/Ubuntu support as well (as he is using them natively). He also added support for stopping with the first error, or not as this is an option. Plus lots of improvements all around.

And he will also beneft from my own modifications, which hopefully improved the tool as well ! The last one, being with the configuration file management, now fully done in memory, instead of re-reading all conf file each time (which could also have some advantages, but speed improvement is what I was looking for here). In particular, in this version, the documentation has been improved a lot and should help more beginners. I have added a new getconf option to help following the value of configuration items (useful as pb uses lots of config files !), checkssh to verify what has been delivered on the repository, wrt what should have been, cleanssh to clean up the remote repository for test versions. A new -t option has been added to create local packages more quickly (when only the local distro will be used). Patches support has also been extended to .deb distributions. I have also introduced a new script, pbmkbm, which is aimed at creating customized boot media ( make boot media), that will be the basis of an evolution of mindi in the MondoRescue project (doesn’t work as of now, and more on that later on). Some enhancement requests and bug fixes have also been done (#99, #585, #93, #522, #103, #105, new distro support for Fedora 15 and 16, Ubuntu 11.10, 12.04, OpenSuSE 11.4, 12.1 at least). #101 is the last on the list for 0.12.1 and as soon as it’s mostly done, I’ll publish it. Promised !

Stay tuned as usual ;-)

The Fosdem Vidéo is now available


The presentation I made at Fosdem this year has been video taped by the great video team during that event. It’s now available online for you to replay (as well as on the project’s ftp server). If you want the associated slideset, just download it !

The latest development have been around fixing the bug on file names, improving test versions build. And we now have new requests on the devel mailing list and, even more interesting, patches proposals to improve pb work with Git and other bug fixes, that should make their way before I issue 0.12.1.

A MondoRescue annoyance


When I released the version 3.0.0, some people started to report issues at restore time, that I didn’t saw during my tests. These problems were mentioned as related to LVM restoration, or partition table restoration.

After looking at the logs they send (kind reminder, that’s a mandatory info if you want to get any form of support !), I saw that in their case, the resizing factor was incorrect, even sometimes 0, leading to empty partitions.

This should have been fixed with revision 2932, and I have released a beta of 3.0.1 that people encountering this problem should use. Let me know if you want to test the fix for a distribution not yet published.

I’ve also repackaged mindi-busybox (with tag 2) for all the deb distributions I manage, in order to solve a dependency issue when upgrading, which was not seen on RPM based systems (for once I have an advantage ;-))

I’d like to have more rapid cycles for this 3.0 branch to reach a very stable point asap, allowing me to work on other branches. Feel free to give feedback so that I could publish 3.0.1 quickly.

MondoRescue 3.0.0 is now officially out


To be honest the first packages appeared before Christmas as I was hoping to have everything ready as a gift ! But I met a certain number of issues trying to build all packages for the 99 different distributions I’m trying to build for ! This is due to my upgrade to Mageia 1 where the QEMU/KVM version proposed work differently from the previous Mandriva 2010.2 I was using.

Some i386 VMs are now freezing, so I had to find new correct parameters for them. Then autoconf wasn’t generating a correct content for all Mandrake/Mandriva build for mondo, so I had to call for these distro now %configure2_5 as a macro, instead of %configure.

And I still have some issues remaining, with busybox on SLES 9, Mandriva 2009.1, and RHEL 3, with some old SuSE (10.1-11.0) and old Asianux 2, RH 7.3/9, RHAS 2.1 … So gained at this occasion a new feature which consists in enumerating on the remote repo which packages have been built correctly or not. And chain the result to a sbx2vm option through the new –rebuild option, which will trigger the rebuild of all not correctly built packages. Very handy ! And will be used to finish publishing what is missing and still useful.

But I already delayed too much the delivery of that important evolution in the project life, so it was time to officially introduce MondoRescue 3.0.0 to the world !

And finally looking at all the modifications since latest stable, MondoRescue really deserve it’s 3.0.0 label ! I won’t be able to cope with the Linux kernel, now at 3.2, but hopefully you’ll find that new version usefull. It fixes a lot of issues brought recently on the mailing list. Remains to work on the Xen kernel support more precisely, but most of what I wanted to fix is in it, including OBDR fixes, RHEL 6.2 fixes, SSSTK ProLiant support improved, loop mount issues, bootable USB keys, mdadm support for metadata, a grub install fix among many others.

You’ll need to use mondo 3.0.0 with mindi 2.1.0 and mindi-busybox 1.18.5 to have a working environemnt as underlined on our Wiki.

And even if it’s a 3.0.0 number, I consider it stable and in the line of latest 2.2.9.x versions. I’d like to avoid copying my Red Hat friends with their .0 versions ;-)

Happy New Year and Disaster Recovery with MondoRescue !


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